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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 7, 2012 8:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: the end of Morning Dew

The earlier post on Tongue's Morning Dew got me sampling & thinking about the Dews of various '60s artists.

The Dead started doing their version of Morning Dew at about the same time Tim Rose's version came out, but theirs is quite different from his.
(There's a little post on that here - http://hooterollin.blogspot.com/2012/01/december-9-11-1966-fillmore-auditorium.html )

I made a comment there that Garcia's ending of the song was more ambiguous than Tim Rose's. Robert Hunter once wrote:
"Bonnie Dobson's song "Morning Dew" (made famous by Garcia's singing of it) is set in the aftermath of nuclear war. Reason he can't "walk you out in the morning dew, my honey" is because of fallout, though Garcia has wisely dropped the verse containing this denouement, allowing the song a heightened romantic mystery, achieved through open-ended ambiguity."

There isn't such a verse in Bonnie Dobson's song - she just repeats the initial verses again - but Hunter seems to be remembering the last verse of the Tim Rose version:

Now there's no more morning dew
What they were saying all these years was true
Cause there's no more morning dew.

Tim Rose's version was the influential one that later versions of Morning Dew were based on - most of the famous rock covers use his arrangement & lyrics.
But the Dead took their own creative path. Garcia ignored that verse and added a new last line to the song - as every Dead fan knows:

Can't walk you out in the morning dew, my honey
I guess it doesn't matter anyway.

What I was wondering, though - did Garcia come up with the "guess it doesn't matter anyway" ending himself, or was someone else performing it that way pre-'67? I only know the "rock" versions of the song that started coming out that year, most of which come from Tim Rose's arrangement, so that line is apparently unique to the Dead....or is it? Perhaps some other folkie sang that ending before.

If it was Garcia's contribution, it's quite the masterstroke. Lyrically, the difference between the Dead's ending and Tim Rose's is (as Twain once put it) like the difference between lightning and a lightning-bug. Rather than adding to the stridency of the song, the Dead pull back into a more philosophical dimension.
Musically speaking, the Dead leave the song more 'open' than other bands do as well. Over the years, they also widened its dynamic range - initially Garcia would just belt out the ending (similar to other singers), but over time the song became slower & quieter, the better to gradually build in intensity and fall back to a quiet space where Garcia would repeat "guess it doesn't matter anyway," til words failed and a reflective guitar solo took over, building again to a thunderous climax where the last line appeared again, shouted more in triumph than despair. Musically & emotionally, the meaning of the song is almost completely turned around, from a dirge & lament to an almost inexpressible exaltation. I would imagine there were few moments where Garcia bonded more completely with the audience, than when he sang "it doesn't matter anyway."

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Feb 7, 2012 9:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

Wish I had some answers for ya. Its my all time favorite dead tune, interesting to learn that about such a classic line. I just got my first live DSO Dew the other night, been praying for it over the past lord knows how many years. It was great, especially shoutin that last line with a few thousand others. Good luck figuring it out, let me know when you do.

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Feb 8, 2012 5:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

i guess it doesnt matter anyway.

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Feb 8, 2012 4:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

An interesting note note is that this is Bonnie's song. Rose recorded it and stuck his name on the credits, the shit.

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Feb 7, 2012 8:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

Fascinating--I hadn't realized that about the last line, even though I've listened to Bonnie Dobson's version on that Music Never Stopped CD. It is indeed a masterstroke, for exactly the reason you say.

On a half-related subject, I could swear I've heard versions in which Jerry switches the order of the third and fourth verses (singing baby then young man then people), presumably by accident. But I've been trying to find examples for some time now, just in the normal course of listening to versions of the song, and haven't noticed any. Have you ever come across any?

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Poster: ducats Date: Feb 8, 2012 4:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

try niagra falls

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 7, 2012 10:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

I wouldn't be surprised if Jerry switched verses now & then (or even skipped them, like Dylan) - I don't keep track of those things though, so can't help.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 7, 2012 10:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

I thought I'd add a few links for the hardcore Morning Dew student!

The GD lyrics site compares the Dead's Dew lyrics with the earlier versions of Dobson, Fred Neil & Tim Rose:
http://whitegum.com/~acsa/intro.htm

Unfortunately, I don't know of recordings of mid-60s folk versions of Morning Dew that might've influenced the Dead. What I could find is these...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgl0YfJiz80 (Bonnie Dobson's original recording, 1962)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUJvpmBXnCQ (Euphoria's Id 1965 - a cool folk-rock cover of Dobson's original lyrics)
http://keepthecoffeecoming.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/the-morning-dew-fred-neil-and-vince-martin/ (Fred Neil 1964 - dull folk version, but important because it changed the lyrics slightly to the ones used thereafter)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb57HpieVB0 (Tim Rose 1967 - all the following are based on his)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7GFCRXstso (Human Beans '67)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoWSqfXyoSI (Episode Six '67)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_tGAWZaAXo (Duane & Gregg Allman '68)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb6WRqZRG-E (Jeff Beck Group '68)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWQEivI9ph4 (Lulu '68)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MihNfl0k5Tg (Damnation of Adam Blessing '69)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGFKH43QYWI (The Rats '69)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqYu7h-BenM (Sweet Smoke '69)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJTe_VYH-24 (Nazareth '71)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z_sWZz5X8w (Tongue '69 - this one is unique for the time since it ignores Tim Rose's arrangement, and adds new lyrics, though they're terrible!)

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Poster: snori Date: Feb 8, 2012 9:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

Here's another version by some mid-60's band - wonder whatever became of them ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoWSqfXyoSI&;feature=related

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Feb 8, 2012 5:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

Crappy video quality and Jerry looks like fermented moose droppings, but I think it's the most emotional performance of the song (for me anyway).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FZg8dQBMa8

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Poster: snori Date: Feb 8, 2012 9:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

Great version, but did you see the comment below - 'Some of Garcia's riffs sound a bit Knopfleresque'. Too kind.

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Poster: adks12020 Date: Feb 8, 2012 6:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

I seem to recall reading at one point (not sure where...maybe through a link posted in this forum) that Jerry and Hunter both preferred to leave their lyrics somewhat open for interpretation. Changing the ending from something specifically about nuclear war to something open ended like "I guess it doesn't matter anyway" would make sense if ambiguity truly was their goal.

Interesting post.

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Poster: allbrosbd Date: Feb 8, 2012 7:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

Guys,

Greg Allman and Duane Allman did a version.

It is on the 4 CD ABB "Dreams" anthology.

Peace

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Poster: high flow Date: Feb 8, 2012 7:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

Yep. I think LIA noted that version with a youtube link above^^.

The 31st of Feb. version was the 1st that came to my mind as well.

I absolutely LOVE disc #1 of that box-set. Drivin' tunes for sure.

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Feb 8, 2012 10:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

I always liked the 31st of February version a lot, though not quite as much as GD. That Dreams box set has been a staple in my collection for years though...my favorite track is the Duane's emotional performance of You Don't Love Me/Soul Serenade - absolutely riveting.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Feb 8, 2012 8:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

Really interesting, and funny timing, too; I've just been working with my son on ambiguity in literature, and we were looking at song lyrics. This is an absolutely amazing example of how much of a difference ambiguity makes ... and how dropping or adding just a few brief lines can be so powerful.

(Although I'll resist using this particular example, or I could just see the next skype conversation between grandma/grandpa and the kiddo: "So, what have you been learning in homeschool?" Kiddo: "Oh, we're studying the Grateful Dead!" Uh-huh.)

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2012-02-08 16:49:32

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Poster: TOOTMO Date: Feb 8, 2012 12:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

"I've just been working with my son on ambiguity in literature, and we were looking at song lyrics."

Would love for you to expound on this further. Would even be interested in what non-Dead bands/songwriters you've covered.
(Personally, I like songwriters who can do both, e.g., Dylan: Hurricane v. Like a Rolling Stone.)

Judge TOOTMO

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 8, 2012 8:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

There's ambiguity in literature?


Whoops: meant to say..."only in bad writing"

;)

This post was modified by William Tell on 2012-02-08 16:57:24

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Feb 8, 2012 9:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

Well, yes and no.

Oh, sorry. That's the liberal arts major version. The version for scientists is a little different.

First scientist: Yes.

Second scientist: No.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 8, 2012 9:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

In fact, I couldn't agree more about Jerry's version--it is in a nutshell, ALL that I love about the DEAD (how's that for a melodramatic, over-interpretation & over-reaction all in one?).

Seriously; and I think it is SOOOOO much better than the original ending...

Bleeech.

Did any intrepid researcher find out if it was Jerry that changed it? Or did some other singer do so first?

I suppose I should read everything above more carefully, but hey, "there are no stooopid questions" according to any number of folks here (ahem...to whom I politely replied, "eh...no...there are in fact at least SOME stoopid questions", not the least of which is "what do I have to know for the final?").

;)

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Poster: Reade Date: Feb 8, 2012 3:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

'If it was Garcia's contribution, it's quite the masterstroke."

Always figured it HAD to be Jerry. This is the guy who famously said walking off the Woodstock stage, "Nice to know you can blow the biggest gig of your career and it doesn't really matter." It's just the Jer gestalt.

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Feb 8, 2012 12:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: the end of Morning Dew

I've never heard these Dew origins myself. I'd have to say the Dobson version you linked is very haunting, but I don't much care for the Fred Niel or Tim Rose versions at all, other than the important lyrical changes that were made.